While not quite over 2008 has truly been a nightmare for anyone who has a 401k, or who owns a house. I heard yesterday that since the beginning of this horrible year more than $35 trillion in wealth has been eradicated. Long before the crash I worried and warned about the "wealth effect". When people are less well-off they spend less, which always leads to a recession. In 2008 the banking system collapsed and Wall Street is now essentially less well liked or respected than most mothers-in-laws. If not yet a "fiscal" depression the mental state has been existing for many months now. On a personal level I have heard more of people with terrible individual stories, many centering on health. About the only think that cheers me this morning was the clip of that nut in Iraq throwing shoes at Bush. I would imagine that many struggling Americans wish they had the same opportunity.